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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

‘Better than we expected’: One traveller recounts positive experience at a quarantine hotel

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After the federal government instituted a mandatory hotel quarantine for all international travellers returning to Canada, some have reported horror stories that range from price-gouging to not receiving meals on time.

But one traveller says he was quite pleased with his experience quarantining at a hotel.

Ahmed Alkahtib, a physician from Petawawa, Ont. who returned from Dubai with his wife and daughter after attending a family emergency, told CTV News Channel on Wednesday that since landing at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, “everything has been very smooth.”

After seeing reports on social media of others’ negative experiences, Alkahtib and his wife were considering postponing their return to Canada. But he said he was pleasantly surprised upon arriving at the Toronto Pearson Sheraton Gateway hotel.

“We were greeted with very friendly, professional staff right away. They gave us meals right away, even before we checked in. They gave us like four bottles of water,” said Alkahtib.

Despite the expected 3-day wait, Alkahtib got his test results in 24 hours and already has the green light to go home, although he was still waiting for his car to be delivered.

Alkahtib said his meals were delivered promptly and the staff even delivered a band-aid after his daughter hurt her foot.

“After half an hour of that happening I got a call from the general manager of the hotel asking me, ‘How is your daughter? Do you need anything else? Did we satisfy your needs?’” said Alkahtib. “But I cannot speak about all the hotels. I can only speak about my experience and what is happening over here.”

Alkahtib said he was even allowed to order food through Uber Eats and go on short 15-minute “wellness walks” outside the hotel.

“I can honestly say it was better than we expected,” he said.​

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